8 Steps to Create Disaster Recovery and Contingency Plans

Jul 15, 2022 | Leadership diaries

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Jul 15, 20223 min read

Creating a procurement disaster recovery plan is crucial for businesses. It involves identifying risks, developing a communication plan, establishing alternate sources of supply, implementing backup systems, training staff, and regularly testing and updating the plan. A well-crafted disaster recovery plan helps to minimize the impact of supply chain disruptions and ensure business continuity.

Creating a procurement disaster recovery plan is a critical component of any business’s overall emergency preparedness strategy. In the event of a supply chain disruption, a carefully crafted disaster recovery plan can help to minimize the impact on your business operations, by offering a structured process for restoring operations as quickly as possible. A well-defined plan can also help to protect your customers and build their confidence in your operations. In this article, we’ll discuss the steps necessary to create an effective procurement disaster recovery plan. 

Identifying Risks to Your Procurement Process 

The first step in creating an effective procurement disaster recovery plan is to identify the potential risks to your procurement process. This includes both external risks, such as product shortages or natural disasters, and internal risks, such as personnel turnover or technology failure. Once you have identified the potential risks, you can develop strategies to mitigate their impact and ensure your supply chain remains intact in the event of a disruption. 

It is important to consider the potential impact of each risk on your procurement process. For example, a natural disaster could cause a disruption in the supply chain, resulting in product shortages or delays. On the other hand, personnel turnover could lead to a lack of expertise or knowledge in the procurement process, resulting in costly mistakes. By understanding the potential impact of each risk, you can create a plan to minimize the disruption and ensure your procurement process remains efficient and effective. 

Creating a Procurement Disaster Recovery Plan 

Here are detailed examples for each step of creating a procurement disaster recovery plan: 

  • Identify critical procurement processes and suppliers: A company may identify its procurement of raw materials for its manufacturing process as a critical procurement process. The company may also prioritize its suppliers of those raw materials based on their importance to the company's operations. 
  • Conduct a risk assessment: The company may assess the risks of natural disasters such as earthquakes, hurricanes, and floods and their potential impacts on the procurement of raw materials. They may also assess the risks of supplier bankruptcy or delivery disruptions. 
  • Develop a communication plan: The company may establish a clear chain of communication between procurement staff, suppliers, and relevant stakeholders in the event of a disaster. This may include the use of emergency contact lists, pre-agreed-upon communication methods (such as email, phone, or text), and regular updates to ensure that everyone is aware of the situation. 
  • Establish alternate sources of supply: The company may identify alternative suppliers of raw materials in different regions to minimize the impact of a disaster in a particular location. They may also negotiate backup supply agreements with these suppliers to ensure that they have access to alternative sources of supply in the event of a disaster. FactWise enables supplier diversity for product manufacturing companies across industries. 
  • Implement backup systems: The company may implement off-site storage of procurement records and contracts to ensure that important data is not lost in the event of a disaster. This may include using cloud-based systems or physical backup storage solutions. 
  • Train procurement staff: The company may provide training to procurement staff on the disaster recovery plan and their roles and responsibilities in the event of a disaster. This may include simulations or exercises to familiarize staff with the plan and ensure that they understand their responsibilities. 
  • Test and review the plan: The company may conduct regular drills or simulations to test the effectiveness of the procurement disaster recovery plan. This may involve simulating different types of disasters and evaluating the response of procurement staff and suppliers. 
  • Update the plan regularly: The company may regularly review and update the procurement disaster recovery plan to account for changes in the procurement processes and risks. This may involve reassessing the risks of different types of disasters, updating communication channels, and reviewing backup systems to ensure they are still effective. 

Creating Contingency Plans for Unexpected Issues 

Even if you have identified the risks and established clear objectives for your disaster recovery plan, there may still be unexpected issues that arise during a disruption. It is important to have contingency plans in place to address these unforeseen issues. These plans should include alternate sources of supply, alternative suppliers, and strategies for resolving any customer service issues that may arise. Having contingency plans in place ensures that you are prepared for any eventuality. 

Creating a procurement disaster recovery plan is a critical component of an effective emergency preparedness strategy. It is essential that you identify potential risks to your procurement process, establish clear objectives for your plan, create a team to develop it, establish an emergency response team, and develop contingency plans for unexpected issues. By following these steps, you can ensure that you are prepared for any disruptions in your supply chain and minimize their impact on your business. 

FactWise S2P optimizes procurement for product manufacturing companies globally. The comprehensive procurement platform provides transparency and insights to leaders, automates processes to improve efficiency, and drives bottom-line impact by unlocking savings potential.  

About the Author

Stawan is the founder and CEO of FactWise. Before founding FactWise, Stawan was the NA TMT-Procurement Leader at McKinsey. Passionate about procurement, Stawan has 15 years’ experience in enabling clients of all sizes to achieve business impact via procurement.


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